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State v. Settles

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Seneca

October 30, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CRAIG L. SETTLES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

         Appeal from Seneca County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 97-CR-0092

          Alex Kochanowski for Appellant

          Derek W. DeVine for Appellee

          JUDGMENT ENTRY

          PRESTON, P.J.

         {¶1} Defendant-appellant, Craig L. Settles ("Settles"), appeals the February 28, 2017 judgment entry of the Seneca County Court of Common Pleas dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶2} In 1997, Settles was convicted of murder with a firearm specification and sentenced to "an indefinite term of fifteen (15) years to life as to the charge of MURDER and a term of three (3) years as a mandatory and consecutive term * * * due to the defendant having a firearm." (Doc. Nos. 211, 212). Settles appealed the trial court's judgment entry of sentence.[1] See State v. Settles, 3d Dist. Seneca No. 13-97-50, 1998 WL 667635, *1 (Sept. 30, 1998). In that direct appeal, we affirmed the judgment of the trial court. Id. at *8.

         {¶3} On August 8, 2016, Settles filed a "Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 2953.21." (Doc. No. 235). In his "petition, " Settles requested "vacating the sentence imposed" by the trial court. (Id. at 6). As grounds for the requested relief, Settles alleged that his "Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment Right [sic] to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment as guaranteed under the Ohio and United States Constitutions" were denied. (Id. at 1). Additionally, Settles stated as a ground for relief that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel. (Id.). The State, treating Settles' petition as a petition for post-conviction relief, filed its memorandum in opposition to Settles' petition on September 6, 2016. (Doc. No. 238). On September 16, 2016, Settles filed his reply to the State's memorandum in opposition to his petition. (Doc. No. 239).

         {¶4} Treating Settles' petition as a petition for post-conviction relief, the trial court dismissed Settles' petition on February 28, 2017. (Doc. No. 241).

         {¶5} On March 27, 2017, Settles filed a notice of appeal. (Doc. No. 242). He raises three assignments of error for our review. We will address the assignments of error together.

         Assignment of Error I

Mr. Settles' Appeal Must Be Considered on its Merits.

         Assignment of Error II

The Trial Court Erred in Denying Mr. Settles' Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus When it Failed to Find That Mr. Settles's [sic] Right to Be Free from Cruel and Unusual Punishment Pursuant to the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution Was Violated When Mr. Settles was Sentenced to a Disproportionate Sentence Despite His Lessened Culpability.

         Assignment ...


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